Inspired by "Neverisms – A quotation lover's guide to things you should never do, never say, or never forget" by Dr. Mardy Grothe. The little book has been sitting on my nightstand for a few months now and so many of the quotations in there were just screaming at me to write something. So, here's my try on some little one shots, mainly featuring Steve and Danny, there will be whump, friendship and bromance, hurt/comfort, humor… but definitely no slash because that's not where I see our two lovely guys.
Unfortunately I don't own anything of Hawaii Five-0, it all belongs to CBS. But I wouldn't mind at all sharing my couch with the Five-0 team – feel free to come around whenever you like.
English is not my native language, so please forgive me my mistakes.
sherry57, thank you so much for betaing, I owe you :-) Merci beaucoup, ma chérie!
"Never neglect details."
Danny thought it was quite strange how the human mind would pick on small, unimportant details while coping with a stressful and possibly life-threatening situation.
Crouching behind a long row of utterly bright green bushes, Danny ducked his head as a hail of bullets whooshed through the air only a hand's width above Steve's dark hair. In the few seconds before his partner gave the sign to move on toward their perp-of-the-week – this time a middle aged farmer who felt the need to protect his illegal cannabis plantation somewhere in the dense rainforests of Oahu by force of arms – Danny's eyes darted around and he took in his surroundings with a clarity that almost took his breath away.
All at once he noticed a bunch of funny little details: a small, irregular, brown coffee stain on his left sleeve, a strange black and orange striped insect buzzing around his head, the graying hair on Steve's temples, the filigree veins on one of the green leaves right beside his body.
"You ready?" Steve whispered, turning his head to throw a quick look at his partner.
"Not at all, Steven," Danny whispered back, agitatedly waving his hands around as far as the limited space of their cover allowed. "I'm telling you, this is one of your stupider ideas. Why the hurry? Let's just wait for proper backup, HPD, a SWAT team, whatever. This bumbling idiot who thinks it was wise to build his dope farm in the middle of a frequented natural reserve certainly won't go anywhere in the next few minutes."
"He shot at us, Danny," Steve said matter-of-factly, as if this statement would discount all of Danny's concerns in the blink of an eye. "What if we were a bunch of clueless hikers that just came by?"
"But we are just that!" Danny puffed out in exasperation, referring to the fact that the entire Five-0 team had decided to spent their spare Saturday going on a little, easy hike to show Danny some apparently spectacular Hawaiian waterfalls. Flicking his left wrist, his forefinger danced between Steve and himself as he tried to make his point clear. "Right now, we're just some hikers who happen to be police officers. But we have absolutely no equipment, no vests, no weapons, …" Noticing Steve's raised eyebrows, he relented grumpily, "Yeah, okay, we have weapons, because you are the only human being that is crazy enough not to bring one weapon on a simple hike but also a spare gun in your ankle holster. You know that this Rambo behavior of yours is totally and completely insane?"
"Kono also brought her gun," McGarrett replied, an amused smirk on his lips. He looked over to some large trees about fifty feet away from their position, where Kono and Chin had gone for cover, waiting impatiently for his sign to move on.
"That's because our rookie is just as lolo as you are," Danny said, ignoring Steve's surprised expression at his genuine use of Hawaiian lingo.
"Are you done now, Danno?" McGarrett brightly grinned down at his partner, who just was about to reluctantly release the safety catch of his borrowed weapon. "Come on, the plan is good – and besides, we outnumber him four to one."
"Yeah, well? What's the point?" Williams asked, throwing his friend a wry look. "One bullet is enough, I don't care if he's alone or bringing a whole crowd of equally demented friends. I still think we should wait for proper backup."
"On three," Steve said cheerfully, ignoring Danny's objection as he slapped his hand on the other man's shoulder. Then he turned around, quietly counting to three and simultaneously gestured the numbers with his left hand so that Chin and Kono were able to follow his countdown.
Danny pressed his lips together, nervously waiting until Chin and Kono distracted the armed dope farmer just enough that Steve and Danny were able to leave their cover and approach the man from behind.
"Now," McGarrett whispered, darting from behind the bushes, trusting that Danny would follow wherever he was leading him.
"Crazy sonofabitch," Danny whispered through gritted teeth, but he couldn't prevent the touch of awe at the sight of his partner in full SEAL mode, his one and only intention to neutralize the enemy.
Even if he'd never admit it, Danny was fairly sure that Steve's plan would actually have worked… if they had not missed one tiny little detail. A detail that now leaped to Danny's eye in form of a reflection, the unmistakable metallic glance of a gun in the sunlight.
"Get down," he yelled, at the same time tackling his partner, just when the first sound of a gunshot was heard from the rainforest somewhere to the right of them.
Williams crashed into the larger man, the momentum of the impact sent them to the ground, clinging to each other they tumbled and rolled, finally coming to a halt at the bottom of a small slope. Groaning with pain, Danny tried to crawl out from underneath Steve's body, he wasn't sure where he hurt most, and Steve's too many pounds of pure muscles pressing against his ribs surely didn't help to make him feel better.
With half an ear Danny noticed that the shooting had stopped only moments after it had begun, he was faintly aware of Chin's and Kono's firm voices, telling the shooters to drop their weapons and surrender. He allowed himself a relieved sigh, except for a few bruises from the collision with his batshit crazy partner, everything seemed to be alright. Very slowly he could feel a tentative smile creep across his lips.
Struggling to his feet, Danny was surprised to find Steve already standing in front of him. For a moment they stared silently at each other before Williams' gaze dropped and the smile was wiped from his face in the blink of an eye.
"Shit! You alright? You're bleeding, a lot!" Danny exclaimed worriedly, his hands grabbing the front of Steve's blood-soaked T-shirt, the red stains clearly visible on the white fabric. He felt a little bit dizzy at the sight of so much blood. "What the hell did you do this time? Where does that come from? Did he hit you?"
Danny shook his head to get rid of the strange buzzing that slowly started to sound in his ears just a heartbeat ago. "I can't let you out of sight for two seconds, Steven, you're really a trouble magnet. Oh no, wait, not a trouble magnet, rather a magnet for bullets, knives and other dangerous bullshit. Did I or did I not tell you that the plan wouldn't work? Why for heaven's sake didn't we wait for backup?"
Noticing astonished that his fingers were trembling violently as he tried to lift Steve's T-shirt in search of the source of the bleeding, Williams rapidly blinked a few times against the sweat that threatened to run into his eyes. The air around him was suddenly much too hot and thick, he had real trouble catching his breath.
Danny felt Steve's fingers around his forearms, he wanted to say something, to tell his partner to sit down because loosing such an amount of blood was definitely not good. But the words just slipped from his grasp, irritated he raised his eyes to meet Steve's gaze.
What the hell was wrong with him? Surely he wouldn't faint like a school girl at the sight of a little bit of blood? Or well, a lot of blood, but anyway.
Danny saw the strange expression on McGarrett's face, felt fingers dig into his skin, noticed that Steve's lips were moving, but he couldn't make out a single word above the buzzing in his ears. He was sure he was missing something vital here but he just wasn't able to put a finger on it.
Damn, that couldn't be, his partner was injured, bleeding, he needed help and all Danny was able to do was stare at him, hoping that his wobbly legs would carry his weight. Frowning, Danny tried to pull himself together, he needed to stop the bleeding, he needed to help his partner, he was supposed to be the backup.
Black dots were now dancing in his vision and despite all efforts to remain upright he felt his knees buckle.
And then suddenly the buzzing in his ears stopped, the noises around him were as clear as they were supposed to be and the last thing he heard before everything became dark, cold and silent was Steve's terrified voice, delivering the last missing detail about what was going on.
"That's not my blood, Danny, it's yours!"
The unmistakable smell of antiseptics was the first of many little details that told him that he was in a hospital.
Danny groaned inwardly, trying to remember what the hell brought him here. Frowning slightly, his eyes still tightly closed, he finally became aware of the dull ache that throbbed through his side and together with the pain, the memories of a hike, a cannabis plantation, a shootout and an obvious failed plan crashed down on him.
The frown on his forehead deepened when he noticed something heavy covering his left hand. That together with the soft snoring that reached his ears told him that he was apparently not alone but that someone was keeping vigil at his bedside.
Biting back another groan, Danny slowly peeled open his eyes, blinking a few times until he got a clear view of his surroundings. He turned his head, noticing his sleeping partner slumped down in one of those uncomfortable white plastic chairs, his legs outstretched, his unshaven chin sunken to his chest. Steve still wore the same T-shirt as the last time Danny had seen him, the white fabric stained with dried blood, the dark circles under Steve's eyes telling their own story of wait and worry.
Danny licked his dry lips as he let his gaze travel along Steve's body, noticing with astonishment and quite a bit of embarrassment that the weight he felt was indeed Steve's left hand that covered his own.
"What the hell you think you are doing?" he asked hoarsely, not at all trying to hide the smirk that appeared on his face when Steve awoke with a start, jumping up as if someone had put a grenade under his chair.
"What?" McGarrett asked confused, his eyes darting wildly across the room until his gaze settled down on Danny's prone form. "God, Danny, you're awake."
"Wow, what an outstanding observation," Danny replied, rolling his eyes. "You didn't answer my question."
"What question?" Steve asked, even more confused than before. "How do you feel? You okay?"
Ignoring his partner's babbled questions, Danny raised his left hand, drawing small circles in the air as he illustrated, "The question was, why the hell you were holding my hand. The last time I checked we were neither married nor in a romantic relationship, so you care to explain why you felt the need to hold my hand? I also don't feel like I'm going to die in the near future, so what's next? You declaring your undying love for me?"
"What?" Blinking a few times, Steve hesitantly took a step closer to the bed.
"God, Steven, can't you say anything other than 'what'?" Not giving his partner the chance to answer that question, Danny asked swiftly, "Could you please raise the bed? I want to sit up a bit. And then maybe you'd be kind enough to tell me what happened."
Danny grimaced slightly when the pain in his abdomen flared up, his hand involuntarily covering his right side, he could now feel the tight bandage around his lower ribcage. Briefly squinting his eyes shut, he breathed deeply in an out a few times until the pain retreated to a bearable level.
He heard a faint rustle of clothes and when he opened his eyes again, Danny saw that Steve was sitting back down on the chair beside the bed. Closely watching his friend, he noticed a few details that clearly told him that something wasn't alright. Firstly, Steve was avoiding any direct eye contact, something he was normally never shy of. Then the Ex-SEAL was nervously fidgeting in his chair, clenching and unclenching his fingers a few times before he obviously realized the weird movement and crossed his arms firmly in front of his chest.
Danny grinned smugly, he had a fairly good idea what was going on inside the other man. The signs were quite obvious and a blinking, colorful sign above Steve's head, reading GUILT wouldn't have been any clearer.
After a few moments, when it was evident that Steve had no intention of starting a conversation, Danny decided to take matters into his own hands. "So, I've been shot at?" he asked, adding an annoyed 'again' in his mind. "Care to elaborate why?"
Steve's head jerked up, his gaze flickered to meet Danny's but he quickly looked away. Mumbling something under his breath, he leaned forward, resting his elbows on his knees, tiredly hiding his face in his hands.
"Sorry, what was that?" Danny asked, keeping his eyes glued to his partner.
His hands still covering his face, Steve heaved a distressed sigh, his voice muffled as he said, "You were right, we should have waited for proper backup." Pulling himself together, he straightened his shoulders, taking another deep breath, he finally looked Danny straight in the eye. "It was my fault, I'm sorry, Danny. I missed some important details, I should have made sure that the man was alone."
"Yeah, well, too late now," Williams said, slightly shrugging his shoulders. "I don't like hiking anyway, so the whole incident spared me the walk back." Once again running his hand over the bandaged wound in his side, he asked half-joking and half-serious, "I don't feel too bad so I assume I still have all my vital organs?"
Chuckling cautiously, Steve quickly nodded as he started to share all the information Danny's doctor had given him earlier, "The bullet grazed your side, cracking a rib on its way. No organ damage, they just needed to stitch you up. Doc said you're allowed to leave later this afternoon but you have to take it easy the next few days."
"Oh, thanks for that clipped summary, Steven. You make it sound like it was a walk in the park," Danny said grumpily.
"Or a hike in the park," McGarrett murmured more to himself than to his friend, smiling apologetically when he noticed the scowl on Danny's face.
"Not funny, McGarrett," Danny puffed out, glaring half-heartedly at his partner.
The two men kept silent for a moment, tentatively grinning at each other until Danny raised his brows at the sight of Steve's appearance and asked quietly, "How long have you been here?"
"Since you were brought in," Steve replied, throwing a brief look at his watch. "Uhm… almost eight hours."
"And in all this time, you didn't find a few minutes to change your shirt?" Danny asked, shaking his head about so much craziness. "You look like an animal, Steven. I suggest you finally go home and clean up." Cutting short any upcoming protest with a sharp wave of his hands, he comfortably leaned back into the pillows as he added with a stifled yawn, "I'm fine, okay? I'll take another nap and then I expect you to pick me up when I'm ready to be released."
Steve nodded slowly, hesitantly heading toward the door. He put his hand on the doorknob but instead of leaving the room, he turned around, facing his partner. "Are you alright?" he asked timidly.
"Didn't I just tell you that I'm fine? Did the last grenade you used to blow up some innocent, little thug mess with your hearing?" Danny asked back. He already guessed what Steve really wanted to know, but after what had happened he decided that he'd earned a little bit of fun; and it was definitely fun to see his friend fidgeting nervously, searching for the right words.
"That's not what I meant," McGarrett finally uttered frustrated.
"That's not what you meant?" Danny repeated, throwing Steve an expectant look. "Well, even if I do know a lot, Steve, I have no idea how to read somebody's mind. So, perhaps it's about time that you learn proper articulation."
Taking a deep breath, Steve casted his eyes to the floor, intensely studying the grayish PVC coating. "I meant… are you… are we good?"
"I don't know, are we good?" Williams swiftly retorted.
Keeping Steve in suspense, Danny enjoyed the nervous fidgeting for another few seconds before he took pity on the other man. Sighing silently, he said distinctly, "If you promise to wait for proper backup in the future, that there won't be another round of 'Oh, come on, it's a nice, boring Saturday morning, let's get Danny shot at', then I think we're good."
Slowly raising his head, Steve locked eyes with Danny, not trying to hide the emotions that clearly colored his expression. He swallowed once, then he nodded solemnly, "I'll try to be more reasonable the next time, okay?"
Closely studying his friend for a long moment, Danny finally started to smile. "Okay," he nodded back.
If he read all those tiny little details right, Steve's tensed posture, the dark circles under his eyes, the expression on his face that showed not only guilt but also a good amount of fear and worry, then maybe Steve was really serious.
Maybe – if Danny was damn lucky – there wouldn't be a next time…